Deutz pilots H2 engine in gen-set

By Mike Brezonick20 June 2022

Engine manufacturer Deutz AG and RheinEnergie AG, a Cologne, Germany-based regional energy supplier,are trialing a power generation system incorporating a Deutz hydrogen engine.

Deutz hydrogen generator set A Deutz hydrogen generator set at the RheinEnergie facility in Cologne, Germany. (Photo: RheinEnergie AG)

The flagship project, which teams two Cologne-based companies whose heritage goes back to the 19th century, got under way on June 20 when the first H2 gen-set went into operation at RheinEnergie’s cogeneration plant in the Niehl district of Cologne.

The combination of a Deutz TCG 7.8 H2 hydrogen engine and a generator will deliver electric power of up to 170 kVA during the initial six-month test phase. The electricity will be fed directly into Cologne’s power grid.

In a second step, the genset’s waste heat is to be utilized. The solution being piloted by Deutz and RheinEnergie has huge potential for the local, carbon-neutral supply of energy in urban centers, Deutz said.

“We are a utility company for a major city and specialize in concepts for neighborhoods and districts,” said Dr. Dieter Steinkamp, CEO of RheinEnergie. “An engine like this can help to provide electricity and heating locally. When combined with heat accumulators, heat pumps, solar installations, and electricity storage, this technology makes it possible to supply entire neighborhoods on a climate-neutral basis.”

Deutz said the joint pilot project marks an important step on its journey to volume production of the TCG 7.8 H2, which is scheduled to start in 2024. With an output of around 200 kW, the hydrogen engine is suitable for all off-highway applications, the company said.

“The pilot project to generate carbon-neutral energy shows that high tech and the city of Cologne are a great match,” says Michael Wellenzohn, member of the Deutz board of management responsible for sales, marketing, and service. “We have found a strong partner in RheinEnergie and are very excited to put the TCG 7.8 H2 through its paces in the real world in our pioneering project.”

Dr. Markus Müller, member of the Deutz board of management with responsibility for research & development, said, “We are already seeing a lot of interest in our H2 engines from customers across all application areas and we are already planning further pilot applications.”

Together, Deutz and RheinEnergie invested €1.3 million in the pilot project to supply electricity on a climate-neutral basis. A reliable and local energy supply without greenhouse gas emissions necessitates expansion of the H2 infrastructure and requires sufficient green hydrogen to be made available at affordable market prices. The partners said they believe that the onus is now on politicians, as the European Green Deal will not succeed without regulatory support.

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